Go to the ant, thou sluggard

Go to the ant, thou sluggard

“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise” Prov. 6:6.

Has God called you to be a writer? Is it hard? Do you feel like quitting?

Here in Proverbs we learn that God takes a dim view of laziness and basically not doing the work. It is true that writing can be hard work. But if God truly called you to be a writer He never provided the option of quitting.

But I know how you feel. Before I ever published my first novel I often felt like quitting. Especially when a story would suddenly hit the wall and I knew it was going nowhere. While I did quit the novel, I never quit writing. And it is important to know there is a difference!

Anyone who has been a writer for awhile has had to change directions at least once but probably more often than they might want to admit. When writing you are investing a part of yourself and it becomes very difficult to stop and reject the work. However, if you consider what you have learned about writing during the project then it has not been a waste of time and effort. Instead you have learned something you can use in your next project.

Quitting as a writer is altogether different. By quitting you are saying that God never called you. If you say no, God called you and it didn’t work out then you are saying God made a mistake. God never makes mistakes! So you need to re-evaluate your calling. Did He call you to be an author or not? If He did then you can’t quit, because it would be disobedience.

Assuming therefore God called you to be a writer then you need to evaluate your writing. What is stopping you? Are you in the right genre? Do you need additional skills?

When I was trying to write and not succeeding it was very frustrating. To offset this I wrote computer programs (most of which were used only personally) and poetry (which helped me win my wife). But behind it all I still had that drive, that calling to write. I often prayed about it and would pick up pen and paper and try again. I even developed a model train hobby that I converted into a story. It didn’t work, but my point is I kept trying.

In my case the solution came through my daily devotions as God showed me that the Bible is loaded with true stories waiting to be the foundation for novels. Your experience will probably be different except that God is just as interested in your success as mine. So keep your prayer life strong and listen for His guidance.

Not only did God open the door for my writing career to open, He also opened the door for my wife and I to become the publisher of our own books (soon she will have her first novel published). In 2014 God gave me the idea for being a self-publisher in the truest form. I talked to my wife and she immediately was enthused. Thus was born T&R Independent Books with her as president and yours truly as vice president. This decision opened the door for us and provided us not only with greater potential earnings but with greater control over every aspect of writing. But it wouldn’t have happened if we weren’t listening to God!

It is my belief that roadblocks in a Christian’s life are there for a reason. Sometimes it means quit  a project to be sure, but never to quit doing His will. Roadblocks come with multiple solutions which could include plowing through them, going around them, going over them, or even going under them. In other words, roadblocks are often opportunities. We just need to stop, pray, and seek to discover what the opportunity facing us might be.

So if you’ve been called to write don’t let a roadblock stop you. It might just be God trying to get your attention and redirect your path.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

Bind them continually upon thine heart

Bind them continually upon thine heart

“Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.” Prov. 6:21

This verse is referencing the Word of God as the Father’s commandments. Today I want to apply it specifically to authors.

Perhaps because I am an author I am slightly biased. Since we deal with communicating to people, albeit through fiction, I think we need God’s wisdom to a very high degree.

Thousands of books are published every week and tens of thousands every year. All authors are trying to sell their books to the widest audience possible. I am no exception. And we need God’s wisdom if we are to succeed.

I’ve talked before about the principles of God’s Word and I don’t want to be merely repeating myself. So instead of talking about marketing advice seen through the lens of the Bible, I want to talk about God’s wisdom and how it helps us write better.

Every book I’ve written has been bathed in prayer. It is not enough to merely follow principles, whether they are secular or spiritual. Writing is more than that. It involves the plot of the work, the characters involved, and the cohesiveness of the story. For that to happen requires a great deal of skill. But it also demands more.

People talk about inspiration being required. I’ve talked about being inspired, but it goes beyond simply being inspired to write. We need God’s guiding hand as we write every scene and develop every character.

It can be taxing, but when we have God in our corner it makes things much easier. Whether writing Perished, or World of Noah and the Ark, or even the current writing of World of Shem I have needed God’s guidance. I seek God’s guidance. I’m not talking about formal prayer, which I do, but of communicating to God throughout the process.

This involves talking to Him about every scene, indeed every word. I approach my writing in the spirit of open prayer. Sometimes it is unconscious praying and sometimes I actually ask Him directly. I ask questions like,

  • How do I write this scene?
  • Is this scene too suggestive?
  • Is this character believable?

Sometimes I have typed several words or entire sentences and upon further evaluation have erased them. We’ve all done this, but the question is was God involved in the process.

How do I involve God?

That’s not a hard question to answer. If you are a Christian, having received Christ as your Savior and you have been called to write, then you can expect His involvement. He doesn’t call and then abandon.

On the other hand, He doesn’t force His Will upon us. According to Psalm 32:8 He will guide us. That is a two-fold promise. On the one hand, God promises to guide us, but on the other hand we are responsible to listen to Him and obey.

What a great feeling it is when we have written a story and can say that God helped us all along the way! Whatever genre you write in you can count on His help as long as you are doing it His way. And that is a source of a huge sense of confidence and peace.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

5 STAR REVIEW OF PERISHED

5 STAR REVIEW OF PERISHED

The following review was posted by a reader on Amazon. (http://amzn.to/2u1Y409)

This book was like a dialogue to the bible. I could feel and hear each character…they became life like or real to me in the way the author pended their various responses and reactions to their unique situations. My favourite chapters were 44 and 45, where Queen Esther expressed her love for both men. The one she was in love with before she was ordered to marry the King-something she became willing to do and her now established love,for the King-something that obviously grew with time. I also loved the King’s reaction upon his death bed in that he now entrusted the life of his soon to be widowed wife back to the man with whom she was previously in love. I loved how she displayed faithfulness and trust in a most uncertain time in her life..a time when her daughter-in-law was seeking to take her place as Queen. This gives a fresh feel to the bible and is a real eye opener. I will definitely be looking out for book 2.

As noted above the link to this book on Amazon.com is http://amzn.to/2u1Y409.

Oops – Correction on Special Announcement

Oops – Correction on Special Announcement

In my last blog I announced the publication of my book Perished on Smashwords. I also BookCoverImagePerishedannounced the availability to purchase the book at a 25% discount with the use of a coupon.

Unfortunately I typed the code wrong. The correct coupon code is:

LC78D

Since then I have also published on Smashwords the second book of the series. This book, World of Noah and the Ark, also has a coupon worth 25% off. It is PX66G.

You will particularly like this second book as it takes an in-depth look at the Ark itself. Some of the content replicates Perished, but there is also new content that includes the Flood itself and the eventual landing on Mt. Ararat.Noah Book CoverImage

But at the end of the book is a Q&A that delves into the world that existed, the Flood, the known facts of the Ark, what modern science has learned, and a comparison to the myth of the Epic of Gilgamesh.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

 

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

In today’s blog I am happy to announce the publishing of Perished, Book One of the BookCoverImagePerishedWorld That Was series, on Smashwords. Not only published but in their Premium Catalog.

But that is now all. This eBook comes to you with a coupon enabling you to purchase the book with a 25% discount off the retail price! All you need is the coupon code, which is LC780.

Perished is the book that launched the series World That Was and the rights were purchased from the previous publisher. This enabled me to rework the book, including giving it a new cover. The story is taken from the Bible and tells the rest of the story from Creation to the Flood.

It is a story based on real life events covering the garden of Eden, the fall of man, expulsion from the garden of Eden, the murder of Cain, and the rise of immorality. It takes the reader into the personal lives of the people so that you feel like you know and understand them. Readers have found it so real they have to check the Bible to see what is fact and what is fiction.

Then, of course, is the Flood itself. The telling of the building of the Ark and the coming of the Flood comes alive! Great care has been taken to include the latest scientific facts within the story.

Although I have received 4 and 5 star reviews I am always looking for more reviews. So I am requesting that if you purchase and read the book that you will write a review no matter what your rating is. Then post it on Amazon or anywhere else you want. And if you have a website post it there as well.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

Are You A Real Author? Part I

Are You A Real Author? Part I

This four part blog asks you four questions and addresses each. Here is the first question:

Do you have a clear message?

Let me start at the beginning. When you write you should be writing with your reader in mind. Don’t get me wrong, I write books that I, the author, enjoy and so should you. But you also need to write for others.

Everyone of my books are written for people who enjoy Christian fiction and historical fiction. That said, what is your message?

Are you just relating a story or do you have something to offer? I believe that one reason it took so long before I published my first novel in 2003 is that every story I wrote had no message. But when I wrote Refuge: The Genesis Chronicles, I wrote with the idea of bringing the Biblical facts to life and giving people insights into the Biblical story.

Ever since then that or something similar has been my message: Bringing the facts to life. I would say that is one of the unique things I do. According to one reviewer I brought the people, places, and events alive giving her a deeper, wider understanding to the Biblical events.

The title of today’s blog is: Are you a Real Author. In other words, does your story jump off the pages? Do people like certain characters? Do they identify with them?

That is what the craft of writing is all about. Namely, to get the reader to use his/her imagination and be able to picture the unfolding story. If you can accomplish that you have become a real author!

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured.

His eBook Perished: The World That Was can be found on Amazon Kindle. The paperback edition is found on Amazon.

My Favorite Character in Perished

It stands without controversy that my favorite character in my book Perished is God Himself. I could write page after page about Him.
However, the purpose of this blog is not to preach, but to teach writing. So my favorite human character is the subject.
It is not that easy to identify which one. So let me take a look at the top five characters.

  • ADAM
    • The very first human being. That alone makes him special. He is also the first to sin. But there is more to Adam than that. When you study him out using facts as well as one’s imagination he is a faithful man who truly regrets his act of sin. This dominates his thoughts and actions for the rest of his life.
  • ENOS
    • This is a man that the Bible says taught men to pray. Such a statement identifies him as someone very important. In Perished he teaches men how to approach God, how to properly worship Him, and to obey Him.
  • ENOCH
    • Aside from being a preacher of righteousness he is raptured. This makes him both an historical person and a revelation of the future rapture of all men and women who have been born again.
  • METHUSELAH
    • He lived longer than any man in history. We are not told much about him other than his age and that he died the same year as the Flood. God used him as a sort of landmark. To have lived that long it is possible he was very rich and very powerful. It is also possible (I think probable) he was a worshipper of God. Why would God preserve his life so long and tie his name to the Flood? Because he was used to help Noah?
  • NOAH
    • A farmer by trade he was called by God to preach and to build an Ark neither of which he was qualified (by human standards) to do. In Perished he realizes he needs help and goes to Methuselah. By faith he preaches to an unbelieving populace; by faith he builds an Ark; and by faith he and his family enter the Ark.

Everyone of these men could be my favorite character. Perhaps because I knew so little about him before I wrote the book and perhaps because of biblical hints I have chosen Methuselah. Exploring his character was exciting and challenging. And intriguing.
When you write, who is your favorite character? It doesn’t have to be the hero or heroine, it can be another character altogether. Your readers will have their favorites, so why not you?
This means personal involvement. As you mold the character you invest something of yourself in that character. Oh, and by the way, just because you are a man or woman does not mean your favorite character is the same sex. For instance, I could have added Naamah (Noah’s wife) and other women who were heroic in their own right.
Another way to look at this is to make every character your favorite. How? By investing your time and emotions in them. That character may be only part of the supporting cast as in a movie, but when you invest yourself in them they take on an importance far exceeding their actual role.
If you do this your readers will find the characters believable.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured.

His eBook Perished: The World That Was can be found on Amazon Kindle. The paperback edition is found on Amazon.

Book Reviewers Wanted!

This is an alert to all of those who follow my blog.
My latest novel Perished: The World That Was is now available. If you participate in Kindle Unlimited you can read it for free. Why am I telling you this? Because I am looking for book possible reviewers.
If you like to review historical fiction then I encourage you to do the following:

  1. Contact me at information@rfrederickriddle.com and tell me.
  2. Get your Free copy at Kindle Unlimited or for $3.99 at Kindle.
  3. Once you have read the book post it on Amazon.
  4. And let me know about your review.

Thank you in advance.

R. Frederick Riddle

A Self-Interview with R. Frederick Riddle

Normally I blog about writing techniques, but occasionally I will do an author’s interview. Today I am interviewing myself as I just published my first novel with T&R Independent Books, our own publishing company.

So with no further delay let’s get started. As interviewer I will be Ron.

Ron: Welcome to Writer’s World. Should I call you R. Frederick?

Frederick: Some people drop the R and just call me Frederick. So that is OK.

Ron: As I stated you just published with T&R. Briefly tell us about your company.

Frederick: T&R Independent Books was founded by myself and my wife in 2014 for the sole purpose of publishing our books. In the past two years it has evolved to not only publishing but providing inexpensive training course in writing plus a free directory of Christian authors with links to Amazon.

Ron: But it is still primarily for publishing your books?

Frederick: Yes. We have already published two of my books: So You Want To Write? and now Perished: The World That Was. We plan on publishing my wife’s (Tress) debut novel later this year.

Ron: I understand Perished is actually a republishing of the book. Walk us through that if you could.

Frederick: Earlier this year I bought back the publishing rights to the original Perished. Once that was done, I set about reformatting and rewriting the book. So while the Title is the same, there have been a few changes in content. It also has a different cover.

The reason for doing this is two-fold: 1) When first written I didn’t expect it to be a series, which it became. 2) T&R exists to publish our books and it only makes sense to have all the series books under one imprint.

That is why I plan on rewriting The Rise of Shem. Since I will be changing the title as well as content, I don’t plan on repurchasing the rights.

As for Perished, the book covers world history from Creation to the Flood. It tells the story behind the story. I think fans, both current and future, will enjoy this book because it is slightly different than the original yet still brings the Bible alive.

Ron: You mentioned world history. Does that mean historical fiction?

Frederick: Yes. It is also action and adventure as well as Christian fiction.

Ron: Where do you write from?

Frederick: My wife and I live in Port Charlotte, Florida full time.

Ron: Briefly, what led up to this book?

Frederick: Aside from the launching of T&R, I have wished I could rewrite the book. But it was owned by America Star, the publisher. It wasn’t a major rewrite, but I felt it would be a stronger novel. As for the original, I have long had a deep affection for Biblical history. In this world of confusing, humanistic explanations of life, the Bible stands out as the sole authority on early history. Putting that history into a fictional story that remains true to the facts enables me to give people an alternative to the mythical beliefs of modern science.

Ron: What was the timeframe for writing this version?

Frederick: I bought the rights at the end of August and republished on October 12th. So about a month and a half.

Ron: That’s fast. You must have been busy.

Frederick: Very. But I enjoyed it.

Ron: What is your platform?

Frederick: That remains a work in progress, but generally I write this blog and make use of Social Media. I also plan on reaching out for more interviews and reviews.

Ron: What’s next?

Frederick: I’m real excited about  my next book. It will actually serve as a bridge between Perished and Shem. It will focus primarily on Noah’s Ark, including during the Flood. After that comes the rewrite of the Rise of Shem, plus I have another in the series called Abraham. So I have a busy future.

Ron: Where can interested readers get your book?

Frederick: Create Space Estore and Amazon.com for the print, and the Ebook is available at Amazon.com only.

I might also add that I will be looking for reviewers probably through Goodreads, although interested readers can contact me through information@rfrederickriddle.com. I will provide a PDF version to them, although buying it through Amazon would give more weight to their review.

Ron: Thank you. To those of you interested in R Frederick Riddle’s Perished:The World That Was it can be purchased here for paperback or here for Ebook.

For our readers I am planning on doing future interviews with upcoming and established authors. I will try to give you advance notice.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured.

Keeping Your Focus Part II

In Part I the topic centered on how health can distract from our focus. Today I wish to explore how finances can impact us.

Finances can have either positive or negative impacts on our business. But whether it’s positive or negative, finances can be a major distraction.

For example, one of my titles in T&R Independent Books is Vice President of Finance. This means that I am involved with the daily budgets, check writing, credit card balances, etc. It can be very involved and can easily distract from my writing.

Speaking as a man involved in financial work for over twenty-two years, I know firsthand how time consuming and frustrating money management can be. It is demanding of both time and energy.

So, how do you balance the needs of finance with the needs of marketing?

One answer is “FREE” marketing tools. And there is an abundance of free tools available. Not all will work for you, or for me. But they are there for your perusal.

The key to using free tools or the equally abundant marketing ideas is ‘not to jump from horse to horse.’ It can be very tempting every time you run across a new idea to abandon what you are currently doing and jump to this new idea. I have had to fight this temptation throughout my career.

For example, I may come across a marketer promoting his/her marketing approach. A free video, course, or seminar may be offered to promote the idea to you. Now, you might think I’ll say stay away, it can mislead you. On the contrary, check them out!

But after you’ve sample the ‘free’ stuff, step away and take a deep breath. Does this marketing solution really fit with who you are? Will it work with your book marketing?

It all comes down to a principle a friend once taught me. He liked to visit Florida, especially the Orlando area. He would come across offers to travel free to Orlando and to stay free for x number of days at a nice hotel. The only catch was that he had to attend a seminar on real estate. He would jump at it every time! Why? That’s where the principle comes in.

The only obligation was to listen to the presentation. No requirement to buy. So here it is: Although he was committed to the seminar there was no commitment to buy anything. For an hour or more of listening to the presentation he got all the benefits of the offer.

In marketing you can do the same thing, but instead of lodging you are getting valuable information that you may use; all for free by simply giving your email address and reading/listening to a presentation!

So how does that impact your marketing focus?

Well, you:

  • Get a fast track education on new techniques
  • Save money
  • Actually get information that may make your marketing more effective.
  • get the above while maintaining focus on your writing.

I don’t believe I’ll ever stop using free or inexpensive informational tools. If I get one new idea that benefits me it is well worth the small investment in time. I am then able to focus on putting that information to work in my marketing plan. In fact, the longer I am in this business the smarter I become and am able to refine my own marketing efforts.

In the above case I am able to focus on both marketing and financing. But if I jumped on the follow-up offer I could easily get bogged down and find myself entangled in a frustrating situation that deprives me of the energy needed to write.

If I was advising a new author I would say the following:

“Writing is your primary focus, so learn how to minimize your marketing and financial efforts. By so doing you can stay fresh and keep your focus on writing.”

In short, investigate new strategies, but be wise.

One tool that can help you is budgeting your time. This is a lot more difficult than it first appears and is different with each person. You must determine your priorities, such as where do you want to concentrate your focus? I would suggest you keep a short listed of priorities. And don’t be afraid to revise that list when needed.

Budgeting your time is only one way of keeping your marketing and financing under control. You may know of other tools. Tell us about them.

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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books. For more information on him visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. His latest novel is a rewrite of Perished: The World That Was published by T&R Independent Books.